LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing Eastern had little extra swagger last Friday night. That’s because after trailing at halftime, the Quakers took down St. Johns, 20-18, for not only their second win of the season but their first win in the CAAC since 2014 (26-17 over Jackson).
“It would have been easy for them, coming off of two losses and then being down at halftime, to say ‘You know what, here we go again,’ but they didn’t,” Eastern head coach, Jordan Morgan said. “This is a new team. It’s a different team. They kept their heads up and it was all positive in the locker room.”
“I think Coach Morgan is changing the team around,” Quaker junior quarterback, Santiago Trainor said. “He’s not here for his job, he’s here for the team. He puts a lot of work in that we don’t see and he cares a lot about us, and he just wants the best for us.”
In year four under coach Morgan, the team has bought in to what he’s been preaching. For example, Eastern is 2-2 this season and is off to its best start since 2005, but they’re still not satisfied.
“Yes, we’ve proved something because this is the best start we’ve had in years. But we also haven’t beaten Mason, we haven’t beaten Fowlerville, we haven’t beaten Williamston in the past,” Morgan said. “So every week, even though we might get some wins under our belt, there’s still something to prove.”
“I got to get better. I got to get better because we didn’t have a season last year,” Eastern senior linebacker, Anthony Phifer said. “Our whole team has only played four teams together so as soon as we lock in, we gonna be good.”
Not having a season last year, due to the Lansing school district canceling fall sports, means plenty of players have limited to zero experience playing at the varsity level, but that’s no excuse for them to keep getting better.
“We only had three returning varsity players, that were sophomores on the team, and then everyone else on the team either played JV or they haven’t played in high school,” Morgan said. “As a head coach, yes it’s exciting that we’re 2-2, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and we still can’t let our guard down. We need to keep competing and because nothing is going to be given to us by any of these teams.”
Next up for the Quakers is a matchup with Mason, who has won the CAAC Red the last two seasons.